Author: Toni Aleo

4 & COUNTING by Toni Aleo

4 & COUNTING by Toni Aleo4 & Counting by Toni Aleo
Series: Assassins #3.7
Genres: Contemporary, Sports
Reviewed by:Publisher
Published by Loveswept

4 & Counting is a short story that gives you more of an inside look at Shea and Elli Adler who were introduced and fell in love in the first book of the Assassins series, Taking Shots. Over the first three books readers have watched them fall in love and begin a family. In 4 & Counting Elli’s birth of their twin boys, Evan and Owen is coming near but also she is having a few issues with her Assassins starters, Erik and Phillip.


4 & Counting was the perfect set up for Blue Lines and made me wish I had read this before I devoured all Toni Aleo’s full length novels. But I have to say it made me remember how much I loved Shea and Elli to begin with and I loved seeing how happy they are at this point in their lives. Honestly I was a little disappointed on how short this was, but it also made me want to go back and re-read the entire series which I will try to do before the next installment in this series is released. If you haven’t read the Assassins series you are missing out on hunky hockey players who are swoon worthy and the feisty women they fall hard for.


FACE-OFF AT THE ALTAR by Toni AleoFace Off At The Altar by Toni Aleo
Genres: Contemporary, Sports
Reviewed by:Author
Published by Self Published


I can’t believe Face-Off at the Alter is the ninth book in the Assassins series. Ever since I started this series I have looked forward to each and every book and this one was no different. I was wondering whose story would be next so when it was announced that it was going to be Markus and Mekena I was pleasantly surprised Toni Aleo was going to give them a second chance at happily ever after.


To give you a little background on Markus and Mekena if you haven’t read the previous books, they dated in college but then he broke her heart after betraying her. After college Mekena moved to Jacksonville and became a photographer while Markus has been trying to get his break in the NHL. It has been some time since they have seen one another, but with Lucy and Benji’s wedding coming up they will inevitably come face to face with one another again.


Markus Reeves always planned to make it in the NHL but he is unhappy playing for the Assassins farm team down in Florida. He misses his family and friends, not to mention he seems to be stuck in a rut on the ice. When offered the chance to finally show he has what it takes to be the best for the league, he feels this could be his one chance to show the world what he can do. In order to move on he also has to make amends with Mekena, not only for the wedding coming up but also to help get his head back in the game. His love for her hasn’t faded but he didn’t expect after all this time to still feel the same he just hopes now that she can finally forgive him and give them a second chance.


Mekena Preston was hurt by Markus’ betrayal with her sister and after fleeing Nashville she still isn’t over the man who broke her heart. She agreed to be Lucy’s photographer for her big day to Benji and Mekena knows Markus will be there because he is a honorary member of the Sinclair family since he is Jace’s best friend. She isn’t over him but she needs to finally understand what happened between them and why he did what he did. The reason behind the betrayal will be reveled and people will be hurt even more but can their true love withstand what is about to come when it’s just getting started?


Mekena and Markus’ story was touching and I loved how it really blossomed. They both were obviously still in love and miserable without one another so I was really rooting for them to talk about what happened and begin their future. What I didn’t expect was how it happened but I really thought Ms. Aleo did an excellent job taking on the subject matter and showing the stages of not only forgiveness and acceptance but healing and looking toward the future. I have to admit there was more humor than I expected but I was grateful that my eyes didn’t get too swollen from the tears that kept falling.


At times I felt that Face-Off at the Alter was a bit on the long side but then I could see how this story needed so many details because a lot happened. Not only is Mekena dealing with trying to trust Markus again but she is also dealing with some family issues that were caused by that betrayal.


Face-Off at the Alter is a mix of Ms. Aleo’s Assassin series and the Bellevue Bullies series which I just loved. I enjoyed getting to revisit some of my favorite characters. Some of my favorite parts of this book were when the group were all together having a good time since they are truly one big family. But most of all this was a second chance romance that was filled with drama, emotions and a romance that needed a little TLC. Overall, I felt Face-Off at the Alter was a great addition to this series and I’m already looking forward to the next one.



BOARDED BY LOVE by Toni AleoBoarded by Love by Toni Aleo
Series: Bellevue Bullies #1
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Sports
Reviewed by:Reviewer
Published by Self Published



Do you love Toni Aleo’s Nashville Assassins series as much I do? Well you won’t want to miss Boarded by Love, the first book in her new spin off series, Bellevue Bullies and you guessed it, it’s about Phillip’s niece Claire Anderson. She is no longer the sourly teenager we met in Breaking Away. Claire is now a college woman with the whole world ahead of her, including catching the eye of campus playboy and team captain, Jude Sinclair.


Claire still has trust issues because of her past, which doesn’t always cause her to make the best decisions, but the support she gets from Phillip and Reese really help her along. She has tested them in many ways to make sure they would always love and support her. She finally realizes that no matter how she acts out, they are a family and will stand by one another.


I have to be honest, the only reason I wanted to read Boarded by Love was to see how Claire turned out. I know that might not be a reason to read a book but I liked her and was hoping she would find love and be a successful dancer. Some spin off series are really hit or miss with me but to my surprise I ended up really enjoying Boarded by Love. I was completely satisfied with how Aleo had the story play out. Plus, hello!, more hockey players was also an added bonus.


Jude and Claire go from zero to sixty in like 4.5 seconds … okay maybe it takes a little longer but the moment they catch each other’s eye it’s definitely a game changer for the both of them. They have spectacular chemistry and I just loved how they came together. While Jude was a player on and off the ice, I thoroughly enjoyed how completely smitten he was with Claire from the very beginning.


While the romance blooms with Jude and Claire, it was a bit rushed for me. Toni fleshed out these characters so well that I felt their emotions and could “see” all the happenings as if I was there. What I really liked was although there was a little drama, which is always needed in a good romance, the secret was the big issue. Not only was Claire keeping a secret from her family but she was also keeping it from her new boyfriend. I knew when the secret came out, things could go either way, it was swoon worthy when Jude finally comes to his senses.


Boarded by Love is a very emotional story, so much that I was totally tearing up at certain moments as well-being equally humorous. When Phillip and Jude met was very funny and of course since Phillip pretty much raised Claire, I felt how protective he was of her. Jude handled the situation well and really won me over in that scene. Jude respects Phillip but is also falling for Claire and wants to stand by her and her decisions. Seeing Phillip like that was different since when he was introduced into the Assassins series he was a player and the fun guy, now he is all settled down being the father that Claire needs.


I believe the whole point of a spin off series is to have some guest appearances by previous characters. While there were numerous ones that did appear from previous Assassins books, I was happy to catch up with the ones that did make special appearances. Phillip and Reese finally tie the knot and do it Assassins style with the whole team there to help support them. One of the cutest moments is when Jude is sitting next to Shea and threatens that if he ever hurts Claire he will have the entire hockey team out to get him. They were one big happy family and I loved it!


Boarded by Love strongly starts the Bellevue Bullies series off and I’m excited for Jude’s bothers and his sister upcoming stories. Yes, each of them will be getting their own story! I fist bumped at that news, because not only do we get more hot men, but more hockey! The Sinclair’s are definitely an interesting group and I’m hoping the series gets even better as more Bellevue Bullies books are released.

BLUE LINES by Toni Aleo

BLUE LINES by Toni AleoBlue Lines by Toni Aleo
Series: Assassins #4
Genres: Contemporary, Sports
Reviewed by:Reviewer
Published by Loveswept



Piper Allen spent the night with Erik Titov months ago, now she is six months pregnant and she’s only confided in two people. Now it’s time to tell Erik. Piper knows he isn’t going to take it well at all, after their night together he said it was a mistake and he’s been avoiding her ever since. When Erik needs help to get back into the good graces of Assassins management, he asks Piper to help him with his image. He’ll become a family man, he proposes that their marriage can end after their baby is born, but the more time these two spend together the more they become a real family. The marriage may have an expiration date but Piper will give it her all in the hopes that Erik will change his mind and stay.


Have you ever felt like you had waited forever for a book to come out and hope it’s as good as you were anticipating? Blue Lines was that book for me. When Piper was talking about her crush on the playboy Erik Titov from Empty Net, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on their story. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely, and oh boy I now have a new book boyfriend in Erik.


Holy hell, Ms. Aleo put these two through the ringer! I absolutely loved Piper and Erik together. Piper was smart, feisty and a lover. Even though she didn’t plan to get pregnant she handled everything that Erik threw at her like a champ, when I would have probably committed murder. From the beginning Erik acts like a total d***, but as Blue Lines progresses, I began to see the unsure and vulnerable side of him as he dealt with ghosts from his past. Piper never gave up hope that he would finally come to accept them not only as a couple but as a family unit as she gets hurt over and over by Erik’s selfish words and actions. One thing I can say about Erik is that once becoming a father started to sink in, he really did try to do the right thing and got his head out of his ass.


From the very beginning, Piper and Erik had great chemistry, even when they were verbally sparring. Even when they strongly disagreed with each other, they loved harder and that showed through loud and clear in everything they did. As far as the sex scenes went, I wasn’t sure what to expect as Piper is in fact pregnant throughout  Blue Lines,  but Toni did so tastefully and very much on the sexy side. I loved how during those times Erik was in fact worried about hurting the baby, which showed it wasn’t just sex for him and he really did care about the wellbeing of their baby.

Blue Lines is both deep and emotional, but also contained a lot of humor and funny banter. Piper and Erik turned out to be a match made in heaven and I really enjoyed them. I also enjoyed how Ms. Aleo went back to the night they spent together a few times during the story and showed it from both their povs. It not only helped me understand what happened but also really showed how much Erik cared for Piper even though he didn’t want to.


Blue Lines was written well, though it did drag a little in some parts. I did find somethings that were repeated such as Erik not thinking he could be in a relationship because of his family issues, but it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the story at all. Blue Lines flowed and I liked how Piper and Erik grew not only separately, but together as a couple. Ms. Aleo showed that things aren’t always black or white in any relationship and it takes hard work to make it work out in the end, I thought Aleo did that beautifully. I’m sure I say this about every book in the Assassins series but Blue Lines might be one of my favorites. I can’t wait to read Phillip’s story and find out how he falls for Reese in the next installment in the series.



BREAKING AWAY by Toni AleoBreaking Away by Toni Aleo
Series: Assassins #5
Genres: Contemporary, Sports
Reviewed by:Author
Published by Self Published



I’m going to go all fan girl here and scream, Phillip is the man!! Breaking Away was more than enjoyable and omg, he ends up with Reese?!!! Not only was I shocked but I was pleasantly surprised at their pairing. I liked Reese in the previous Assassins books and knew it would take someone special to really catch her eye.  Phillip was just the man for the job. Neither are looking for anything serious, each for their own reasons. Reece was deeply hurt by an ex, Phillip is busy raising his niece, Claire and needs to focus on her needs. As Reese teaches Claire to dance, these two ladies really connected. Things get a bit complicated but they can’t stay away from one another, which made Breaking Away an even more enjoyable read.


While the relationship between Phillip and Reese is a big part of the book, it wasn’t just all about them. I loved the blossoming relationship between Phillip and Claire, he loves her and really wants the best for her. Phillip and Reese start to get closer and that’s truly when their relationship starts to progress and really take off. It’s during this time that Claire starts accepting Phillip as her guardian and begins to start feeling a deep bond between them. Claire was a typical teenager who is  hurting from the loss of her mother as well as having just had her whole life uprooted. Phillip made sure she knew she was loved and wanted, that made me love him even more.


Reese and Phillip as a couple are hotter than hot. They steamed up the pages and had some of the best chemistry I have read in the Assassin series. What started off as just sex grew into much more. I loved that Ms. Aleo had Phillip be the first to fall in love because normally it’s the heroine who falls first. There were many moments where I started to fall for Phillip right alongside Reese. He just did and said some of the sweetest things which was nothing like the Phillip I got to know from the previous Assassins books. In prior books, Phillip came off as a player, so it was a nice change to see him in such a postive light.


Reese did have her annoying moments but she finally came around. Thank god because if she didn’t want him I would have gladly taken him off her hands. Phillip had this confidence about him that grabbed me from the moment he was introduced in prior books and I really liked that he was unsure of himself with Reese and how to move forward.


Hands down Breaking Away was a great addition to an already amazing series. Each book in the series is a little different depending on the characters situations, which each title being a unique read. Ms. Aleo brings her characters to life and gives them real problems that people face with every day. Phillip losing his sister and having to raise a teenager all while playing for the NHL was damn impressive, but what really stood out was how hard he was trying to make her life better. I’m glad Claire will be receiving her own book in time because I can’t wait to see how she turns out and who will be her love interest.



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Rushing the Goal by Toni Aleo Series: Assassins #8 Genres: Contemporary, Sports Reviewed by:ReviewerPublished by Self Published   Rushing the Goal is the eighth book in the Assassins series and honestly I can’t believe it. When I first started this series I never dreamed after years of enjoying the most loveable characters I have readContinue Reading


Taking Shots by Toni Aleo Series: Nashville Assassins #1 Genres: Contemporary, Sports Reviewed by:PublisherPublished by Random House Reviewed by Talia Ricci In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Toni Aleo’s exhilarating Loveswept debut, the first in a series featuring the hockey hunks of the Nashville Assassins, a reformed bad boy helps a charming, willfulContinue Reading

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